October is National Dental Hygiene Month
Aside from fall festivals and Trick-or-Treating, October is also National Dental Hygiene Month – a time to refocus on healthy oral hygiene habits, as individuals and as families. A great way to implement healthy dental hygiene in your kids is to practice these good habits as a family! Case Orthodontics in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, has gathered a list of four healthy routines to focus on: brushing, flossing, chewing and rinsing.
As a family, you’ve probably talked to your child about the importance of regular brushing, but it’s important to talk about the way to brush teeth. Bad brushing habits can be harmful to teeth in the long run, even if you can’t see the immediate effects. Even as parents, this aspect of teeth brushing can be overlooked. Follow these tips:
- Brush with a fluoride toothpaste
- Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums
- Use short strokes in back and forth motion
- Brush all surfaces of your teeth – outer, inner, and chewing surfaces.
- Brush your tongue to remove bacteria that can linger there and ensure fresh breath
- Never brush too hard – this can cause enamel to wear down over time
Flossing may be the hardest part of oral hygiene to practice, simply because it’s easy to forget about. Flossing helps to remove bits of food that can linger in between and behind teeth, and just a toothbrush won’t always remove them. If these food particles are not removed, this leads to the buildup of plaque, and cavities will form. A good tip for flossing is trying to first implement flossing at the end of the day before bed. Try flossing as a family and teach your smaller children the best way to floss. To remind your family to floss, try setting dental floss out on your nightstand or bathroom sink.
If your child wears braces, it is even more important to floss to remove food particles. Waxed floss is best to move easier around braces. Your Charlotte orthodontist or dental hygienist can show your child the best way to floss with braces.
Chewing is an important part of your dental hygiene. Obviously, what you chew has a big effect on your teeth. It’s important to stay away from foods that are too hard or crunchy, as this can chip teeth. Additionally, you want to avoid acidic foods that can wear down your enamel over time. There is something you can chew, though – sugarless gum. According to MouthHealthy.org, chewing sugarless gum can provide great benefits to your teeth by increasing the flow of saliva. Saliva helps to wash away food debris and can neutralize acids in the mouth caused by bacteria. Additionally, saliva contains calcium and phosphate that strengthens tooth enamel. Look for sugarless gum with the American Dental Association Seal to be sure it’s safe to chew.
Rinsing with a cosmetic or therapeutic mouthwash can further help with excellent oral hygiene by improving bad breath and killing bacteria. Killing bacteria helps to prevent bad breath, plaque, tooth decay, and gingivitis. If you have concerns about what types of mouthwash to use, look for the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. Additionally, use a child’s mouthwash if you have small children. Using a mouthwash is another way your family can practice good dental care together.
At Case Orthodontics, we believe good dental hygiene is essential to overall health and help improve orthodontics care. We offer child and adult orthodontic treatment as well as braces and Invisalign. We serve the greater Charlotte, North Carolina area. Contact us to schedule an appointment!